The Iliad of Homer (Buckley)/BOOK THE FOURTH

The Iliad of Homer  (1860)  by Homer, translated by Theodore Alois Buckley
BOOK THE FOURTH

BOOK THE FOURTH.

ARGUMENT.

Paris not being slain, the combat left it doubtful whether Helen should be returned or not; but Juno extorts, a promise from Jove of the final destruction of Troy. Minerva then persuades Pandarus to break the truce by aiming an arrow at Menelaus. The wound is, however, cured by Machaon. The Trojans proceed to the battle, while Agamemnon exhorts the chieftians of the Greeks. The fight then commences, Mars and Apollo encouraging the Trojans, Minerva and the other deities the Greeks.

Now they, the gods, sitting on the golden floor[1] with Jove, were engaged in consultation, and amid them venerable Hebe poured out the nectar; but they pledged[2] one another with golden cups, looking toward the city of the Trojans. Forth-with the son of Saturn attempted to irritate Juno, speaking with a covert allusion, with reproachful words:[3]

"Two goddesses, indeed, are auxiliaries to Menelaus, Argive[4] Juno and Minerva of Alalcomenæ:[5] and yet these, forsooth, sitting apart, amuse themselves with looking on; but to the other, on the contrary [Paris], laughter-looking Venus is ever present,[6] and averts fate from him. Even now has she saved him, thinking that he was about to die. But the victory, indeed, belongs to Mars-beloved Menelaus: let us therefore consult how these things shall be, whether we shall again excite the destructive war, and dreadful battle-din, or promote friendship between both parties. And if, moreover, this shall perchance[7] be grateful and pleasing to all, the city of king Priam, indeed, may be inhabited, but let Menelaus lead back again Argive Helen."

Thus he spoke: but Minerva and Juno murmured with closed lips, for they were sitting near, and were devising evils for the Trojans. Minerva, indeed, was silent, nor said any thing, indignant with her father Jove, for dreadful rage possessed her. But Juno could not retain her fury in her breast, but addressed him:

"Most baleful son of Saturn! what a sentence hast thou uttered! How dost thou wish to render my labor vain, and my sweat fruitless, which I have sweated through with toil? For the steeds are tired to me assembling the host, evils to Priam and to his sons. Do so: but all we the other gods do not approve."

But her cloud-compelling Jove, in great wrath, answered: "Strange one! how now do Priam and the sons of Priam work so many wrongs against thee, that thou desirest implacably to overturn the well-built city of Ilion? But if thou, entering the gates and the lofty walls, couldst devour alive[8] Priam and the sons of Priam, and the other Trojans, then perhaps thou mightst satiate thy fury. Do as thou wilt, lest this contention be in future a great strife between thee and me. But another thing I tell thee, and do thou lay it up in thy soul: whenever haply I, anxiously desiring, shall wish to destroy some city, where men dear to thee are born, retard not my rage, but suffer me; for I have given thee this of free will, though with unwilling mind. For of those cities of earthly men, which are situated under the sun and the starry heaven, sacred Ilion was most honored by me in my heart, and Priam and the people of Priam skilled in the ashen spear. For there my altars never lacked a due banquet and libation, and savor; for this honor were we allotted."

Him then the venerable full-eyed Juno answered: "There are three cities, indeed, most dear to me: Argos, and Sparta, and wide-wayed Mycenæ;[9] destroy there whenever they become hateful to thy soul. In behalf of these I neither stand forth, nor do I grudge them to thee: for even were I to grudge them, and not suffer thee to destroy them, by grudging I avail nothing, since thou art much more powerful. And yet it becomes [thee] to render my labor not fruitless; for I am a goddess, and thence my race, whence thine; and wily Saturn begat me, very venerable on two accounts, both by my parentage, and because I have been called thy spouse. Moreover, thou rulest among all the immortals. But truly let us make these concessions to each other: I, on my part, to thee, and thou to me; and the other immortal gods will follow. Do thou without delay bid Minerva go to the dreadful battle-din of the Trojans and Greeks, and contrive that the Trojans may first begin to injure the most renowned Greeks, contrary to the leagues."

Thus she spoke; nor did the father of gods and men disobey. Instantly he addressed Minerva in winged words: "Go very quickly to the army, among the Trojans and Greeks, and contrive that the Trojans may first begin to injure the most renowned Greeks, contrary to the league."

Thus having spoken, he urged on "Minerva already inclined; she hastening descended the heights of Olympus; such as the star which the son of wily Saturn sends, a sign either to mariners, or to a wide host of nations, and from it many sparks are emitted. Like unto this Pallas Minerva hastened to the Earth, and leaped into the midst [of the army]; and astonishment seized the horse-breaking Trojans and the well-greaved Greeks, looking on. And thus would one say, looking at some other near him:

"Doubtless evil war and dreadful battle-din will take place again, or Jove is establishing friendship between both sides, he who has been ordained the arbiter of war among men,"

[10] Thus then did some one of the Greeks and Trojans say; but she like a hero entered the host of the Trojans, the brave warrior Laodocus, son of Antenor, seeking godlike Pandarus, if any where she might find him. She found the blameless and valiant son of Lycoan standing, and around him the brave ranks of shielded warriors, who had followed him from the streams of Æsepus; and standing near, she thus to him spoke winged words:

"Wouldst thou now hearken to me in any thing, O war-like son of Lycoan? Thou wouldst venture then to aim a swift arrow at Menelaus, Doubtless thou wouldst bear away both thanks and glory from all the Trojans, but of all, chiefly from the prince Alexander, from whom, indeed, first of all thou wouldst receive splendid gifts, if he should see martial Menelaus, the son of Atreus, subdued by this weapon, ascending the sad pile. But come, aim an arrow at renowned Menelaus; and vow to Lycian-born[11] Apollo, the renowned archer, that thou wilt sacrifice a splendid hecatomb of firstling lambs, having returned home to the city of sacred Zeleia."

Thus spoke Minerva, and she persuaded his mind for him, unthinking one. Straightway he uncased his well-polished bow, made from [the horn of] a wild, bounding goat, which he indeed surprising once on a time in ambush, as it was coming out of a cavern, struck, aiming at it beneath the breast; but it fell supine on the rock. Its horns had grown sixteen palms from its head; and these the horn-polishing artist, having duly prepared, fitted together, and when he had well smoothed all, added a golden tip. And having bent the bow, he aptly lowered it, having inclined it against the ground; but his excellent companions held their shields before him, lest the martial sons of the Greeks should rise against him, before warlike Menelaus, the chief of the Greeks, was wounded. Then he drew off the cover of his quiver, and took out an arrow, fresh, winged, a cause of gloomy ills. Forthwith he fitted the bitter arrow to the string, and vowed to Lycian-born Apollo, the renowned archer, that he would sacrifice a splendid hecatomb of firstling lambs, having returned home to the city of sacred Zeleia. Having seized them, he drew together the notch [of the arrow] and the ox-hide string; the string, indeed, he brought near to his breast, and the barb to the bow. But after he had bent the great bow into a circle, the bow twanged, the bowstring rang loudly, and the sharp-pointed shaft bounded forth, impatient to wing its flight through the host.

Nor did the blessed immortal gods forget thee, O Menelaus;[12] but chiefly the spoil-hunting daughter of Jove, who, standing before thee, averted the deadly weapon. She as much repelled it from thy body, as a mother repels a fly from her infant, when it shall have laid itself down in sweet sleep. But she herself guided it to that part where the golden clasps of the girdle bound it, and the double-formed corselet met.[13]The bitter arrow fell on his well-fitted belt, and through the deftly-wrought belt was it driven, and it struck in the variegated corselet and the brazen-plated belt which he wore, the main defense of his body, a guard against weapons, which protect him most; through even this did it pass onward, and the arrow grazed the surface of the hero's skin, and straightway black gore flowed from the wound. And as when some Mæonian[14] or Carian woman tinges ivory with purple color, to be a cheek-trapping for steeds; in her chamber it lies, and many charioteers desire to bear it, but it lies by as an ornament for the king, both as a decoration to the steed, and a glory to the rider: so Menelaus, were thy well-proportioned thighs, and legs, and fair feet below, stained with gore.

Then Agamemnon, the king of men, shuddered, as he beheld the black gore flowing from the wound, and Mars-beloved Menelaus himself shuddered. But when he saw the string[15] and the barbe still outside, his courage was once more collected in his breast. But Agamemnon, deeply sighing, and holding Menelaus with his hand, spoke thus amid them, and all his companions kept groaning with him:

"O dear brother, now have I ratified a treaty which will prove thy death, exposing thee alone to fight with the Trojans for the Greeks; since the Trojans have thus wounded thee, and trampled on the faithful league. But by no means shall the league and the blood of the lambs be in vain, and the pure libations, and the right hands in which we confided. For even although Olympian Jove has not immediately brought them to pass, he will however bring them to pass at last; and at a great price have they paid the penalty,[16] to wit, with their own heads, and their wives and children. For this I know well in mind and soul. A day will be, when sacred Ilium shall perish, and Priam, and the people of ashen-speared Priam; and when Saturnian Jove, lofty-throned, dwelling in the æther, will himself shake his gloomy æegis over all, wrathful on account of this treachery. These things, indeed, shall not be unaccomplished; but to me there will be grief on thy account, O Menelaus, if thou shalt die and fulfill the fate of life; then indeed, branded with shame, shall I return to much longed-for Argos. For quickly the Greeks will bethink themselves of their fatherland, and we shall leave Argive Helen a boast to Priam and to the Trojans, and the earth will rot thy bones lying in Troy, near to an unfinished work. And thus will some one of the haughty Trojans exclaim, leaping upon the tomb of glorious Menelaus: 'Would that Agamemnon thus wreaked his vengeance against all, as even now he has led hither an army of the Greeks in vain, and has now returned home into his dear native land, with empty ships, having left behind him brave Menelaus.' Thus will some one hereafter say: then may the wide earth yawn for me."

But him fair-haired Menelaus accosted, cheering him: "Have courage, nor in anywise frighten the people of the Achæans. The sharp arrow has not stuck in a vital part, but before [it reached a vital part], the variegated belt, and the girdle beneath, and the plate which brass-working men forged, warded it off."

King Agamemnon answering him replied : "Would that it were so, O beloved Menelaus; but the physician shall probe the wound, and apply remedies, which may ease thee of thy acute pains."

He spoke; and thus accosted Talthybius, the divine herald: "Talthybius, summon hither with all speed the hero Machaon, son of the blameless physician Æsculapius, that he may see martial Menelaus, the chief of the Greeks, whom some skillful archer of the Trojans, or of the Lycians, has wounded with a shaft; a glory, indeed, to him, but a grief to us."

He spoke; nor did the herald disobey when he had heard. But he proceeded to go through the forces of the brazen-mailed Greeks, looking around for the hero Machaon: him he saw standing, and round him the brave ranks of the shield-bearing hosts, who followed him from steed-nourishing Tricca. Standing near, he spoke winged-words:

"Come, O son of Æsculapius, Agamemnon, king of men, calls thee, that thou mayest see martial Menelaus, the son of Atreus, whom some skillful archer of the Trojans or of the Lycians has wounded with a dart; a glory indeed to him, but a grief to us."

Thus he spoke, and incited his soul within his breast. And they proceeded to go through the host, through the wide army of the Greeks; but when they had now arrived where fair-haired Menelaus had been wounded (but around him were collected as many as were bravest, in a circle, while the godlike hero stood in the midst), instantly thereupon he extracted the arrow from the well-fitted belt. But while it was being extracted, the sharp barbs were broken. Then he loosed the variegated belt, and the girdle beneath, and the plated belt which brass-workers had forged. But when he perceived the wound, where the bitter shaft had fallen, having sucked out the blood, he skillfully sprinkled on it soothing remedies,[17] which benevolent Chiron had formerly given to his father.

While they were thus occupied around warlike Menelaus, meantime the ranks of the shielded Trojans advanced; and these again put on their arms, and were mindful of battle. Then would you not see divine Agamemnon slumbering, nor trembling nor refusing to fight; but hastening quickly to the glorious fight. He left his steeds, indeed, and his brass-variegated chariot; and these his servant Eurymedon, son of Ptolymseus, the son of Pirais, held apart panting. Him he strictly enjoined to keep them near him, against the time when weariness should seize his limbs, commanding over many. But he on foot traversed the ranks of the heroes, and whichever of the swift-horsed Greeks he saw hastening, them standing beside, he encouraged with words:

"Argives! remit naught of your fierce ardor, for father Jove will not be an abettor to falsehoods, but certainly vultures will devour the tender bodies of those very persons who first offered injury, contrary to the league; and we, after we shall have taken the city, will carry off in our ships their dear wives, and their infant children."

But whomsoever on the other hand he saw declining hateful battle, them he much rebuked with angry words:

"Argives, ye arrow-fighters,[18] subjects for disgrace, are ye not ashamed? Why stand ye here astounded like fawns, which, when they are wearied, running through the extensive plain, stand, and have no strength in their hearts? Thus do ye stand amazed, nor fight. Do ye await the Trojans until they come near, where your fair-prowed galleys are moored on the shore of the hoary sea, that ye may know whether the son of Saturn will stretch forth his hand over you."

Thus he, acting as commander, kept going through the ranks of heroes, and he came to the Cretans, going through the throng of men. But they were armed around warlike Idomeneus. Idomeneus, on his part, [commanded] in the van, like a boar in strength; but Meriones urged on the hindmost phalanxes for him. Seeing these, Agamemnon, the king of men, rejoiced, and instantly accosted Idomeneus, in bland words:

"O Idomeneus, I honor thee, indeed, above the swift-horsed Greeks, as well in war, as in any other work, and at the banquet, when the nobles of the Argives mix in their cups the dark-red honorable[19] wine: for though the other crested Greeks drink by certain measures, thy cup always stands full, as [mine] to me, that thou mayest drink when thy mind desires it. But hasten into war, such as formerly thou didst boast to be."

But him Idomeneus, the leader of the Cretans, in turn answered: "Son of Atreus, a very congenial ally will I be to thee, as first I promised and assented. But exhort the other crested Greeks that we may fight with all haste, since the Trojans have confounded the league: death and griefs shall be theirs hereafter, since they first offered injury, contrary to the league."

Thus he spoke: and the son of Atreus passed on, joyous at heart, and he came to the Ajaces, going through the troops of the heroes. But they were armed, and with them followed a cloud of infantry. As when a goat-herd from a hill-top perceives a cloud traversing the deep, beneath the north-western blast; and to him, standing at a distance, it appears while coming over the ocean, darker than pitch, and brings with it a mighty whirlwind;[20] he both shudders on seeing it, and drives his flock into a cave. Such, with the Ajaces, moved into hostile battle the dense dark phalanxes of Jove-nurtured youths, bristling with shields and spears. And king Agamemnon seeing them, rejoiced, and accosting them, spoke winged words:

"Ye Ajaces, leaders of the brazen-mailed Argives, ye two, indeed, for it becomes me not, I in no respect desire to incite; for ye yourselves mightily instigate the people to fight valiantly. Would that, O father Jove, Minerva, and Apollo, such courage were in the breasts of all; soon then would the city of king Priam bend to its fall, taken and destroyed by our hands."

Thus having said, he left them there and went to the others; there he found Nestor, the harmonious orator of the Pylians, marshaling his associates, and exhorting them to battle, mighty Pelagon, Alastor, Chromius, and prince Harmon, and Bias the shepherd of the people. In front, indeed, he placed the cavalry[21] with their horses and chariots, but the foot, both numerous and brave, in the rear, to be the stay of the battle; but the cowards he drove into the middle, that every man, even unwilling, might fight from necessity. At first, indeed, he gave orders to the horsemen; these he commanded to rein in their horses, nor to be confused with the crowd. "And let no person, relying on his skill in horsemanship, and on his strength, desire alone, before the rest, to fight with the Trojans, nor let him retreat: for [if so], ye will be weaker. And whatever man, from his own chariot, can reach that of another, let him stretch out with his spear;[22] for so it is much better: for thus the ancients overturned cities and walls, keeping this purpose and resolution in their breasts."

Thus the old man, long since well skilled in wars, exhorted them, and king Agamemnon rejoiced when he saw him; and accosting him, spoke winged words:

"O old man, would that thy knees could so follow thee, and thy strength were firm as is the courage in thy breast. But old age, common alike to all, wearies thee. Would that some other man had thy age, and that thou wert among the more youthful."

Him then the Gerenian knight Nestor answered: "Son of Atreus, I myself would much wish to be so, as when I killed Eruthalion. But the gods never give all things at the same time to men. If I were a young man then, now in turn old age invades me. Yet even so, I will be with the horse, and will exhort them with counsel and words: for this is the office of old men. But let the youths, who are younger than I am, and confide in their strength, brandish their spears."

Thus he spoke; and the son of Atreus passed him by, rejoicing at heart. Next he found the horseman Menestheus, son of Peteus, standing, and around him the Athenians skilled in the war-shout: but crafty Ulysses stood near; and round him stood the ranks of the Cephallenians not feeble; for not yet had the troops of these heard the shout, since lately the roused phalanxes of the horse-subduing Trojans and of the Greeks moved along; but they stood waiting till another division of the Greeks, coming on, should charge the Trojans and begin the battle. Having seen these, therefore, Agamemnon, the king of men, reproved them, and, accosting them, spoke winged words:

"O son of Peteus, Jove-nurtured king, and thou, accomplished in evil wiles, crafty-minded [Ulysses], why trembling do ye refrain from battle, and wait for others? It became you, indeed, being among the first, to stand and meet the ardent battle. For ye are the first invited by me to the feast when we Greeks prepare a banquet for the chiefs. Then it is pleasant to you to eat the roasted meats, and to quaff cups of sweet wine, as long as ye please. But now would ye in preference be spectators, though ten divisions of the Greeks should fight in your presence with the ruthless brass."

But him sternly regarding, crafty Ulysses answered thus: "Son of Atreus, what a word has escaped the barrier of thy teeth! How canst thou say that we are remiss in fighting? Whenever we Greeks stir up fierce conflict against the horse-taming Trojans, thou shalt see, if thou desirest, and if these things are a care to thee, the beloved father of Telemachus mingled with the foremost of the horse-taming Trojans. But thou sayest these things rashly."

But him king Agamemnon, when he perceived that he was angry, smiling, addressed, and retracted his words:

"Noble son of Laertes, much-contriving Ulysses, I neither chide thee in terms above measure, nor exhort thee. For I am aware that thy mind in thy breast kens friendly counsels: for thou thinkest the same that I do. But come, we shall settle these disputes at a future time, should any thing evil have now been uttered. But may the gods render all these things vain."

Thus having spoken, he left them there, and went to others; he found magnanimous Diomede, son of Tydeus, standing by his horses and brass-mounted[23] chariot. Near him stood Sthenelus, son of Capaneus. And having seen him too, king Agamemnon reproved him, and accosting him thus, spoke winged words:

"Alas! O son of warlike horse-breaking Tydeus, why dost thou tremble? Why dost thou explore the intervals of the ranks?[24] It was not with Tydeus thus customary to tremble, but to fight with the enemy far before his dear companions. So they have said, who beheld him toiling: for I never met, nor have I beheld him: but they say that he excelled all others. For certainly with godlike Polynices he entered Mycenæ without warlike array, a guest, collecting forces: they[25] were then preparing an expedition against the sacred walls of Thebes, and supplicated much that they would give renowned auxiliaries. But they [the Mycenæeans] were willing to give them, and approved of it, as they urged; but Jove changed [their design], showing unpropitious omens. But, after they departed, and proceeded on their way, they came to rushy, grassy Asopus. Then the Achæeans sent Tydeus upon an embassy.[26] Accordingly he went, and found many Cadmeans feasting in the palace of brave Eteocles. Then the knight Tydeus, though being a stranger, feared not, being alone among many Cadmeans: but challenged them to contend [in games], and easily conquered in all, so mighty a second was Minerva to him. But the Cadmeans, goaders of steeds, being enraged, leading fifty youths, laid a crafty ambuscade for him returning; but there were two leaders, Mæon, son of Hæmon, like unto the immortals, and Lycophontes, persevering in fight, the son of Autophonus. Tydeus, however, brought cruel death upon them. He killed them all, but sent one only to return home; for he dismissed Mæon, obeying the portents of the gods. Such was Ætolian Tydeus. But he begat a son, inferior to himself in battle, but superior in council."

Thus he spoke; but brave Diomede answered nothing, reverencing the rebuke of the venerable king.

But him the son of renowned Capaneus answered: "Son of Atreus, lie not, knowing how. to tell truth. We, indeed, boast to be far better than our fathers. We too have taken the citadel of seven-gated Thebes, leading fewer troops under the walls sacred to Mars, confiding in the portents of the gods, and in the aid of Jove: but they perished through their own infatuation. Wherefore, never place my ancestors in the same rank with me."

Him sternly regarding, brave Doimede accosted thus; "My friend[27] Sthenelus, sit in silence, and obey my words; for I blame not Agamemnon, the shepherd of the people, for thus exhorting the well-greaved Greeks to fight. Glory shall attend him, if, indeed, the Greeks shall conquer the Trojans, and take sacred Ilium; but great grief shall be his, on the other hand, the Greeks being cut off. But come now, and let us be mindful of impetuous valor."

He spoke, and from his chariot leaped with his arms upon the earth, and dreadfully sounded the brass on the breast of the prince, as he moved rapidly along: then truly would fear have seized even a brave spirit.

As when on the loud-resounding shore a wave of the sea is impelled in continuous succession beneath the north-west wind which has set it in motion; at first indeed it raises itself aloft in the deep, but then dashed against the land, it roars mightily; and being swollen it rises high around the projecting points, and spits from it the foam of the sea: thus then the thick phalanxes of the Greeks moved incessantly on to battle. Each leader commanded his own troops. The rest went in silence (nor would you have said that so numerous an army followed, having the power of speech in their breasts), silently reverencing their leaders. And around them all their arms of various workmanship shone brightly; clad with which, they proceeded in order. But the Trojans, as the sheep of a rich man stand countless in the fold, while they are milked of their white milk, continually, bleating, having heard the voice of their lambs—thus was the clamor of the Trojans excited through the wide army. For there was not the same shout of all, nor the same voice, but their language was mixed, for the men were called from many climes. These Mars urged on, but those blue-eyed Minerva,[28] and Terror, and Rout, and Strife, insatiably raging, the sister and attendant of homicide Mars, she raises her head, small indeed at first, but afterward she has fixed her head in heaven, and stalks along the earth. Then also she, going through the crowd, increasing the groaning of the men, cast into the midst upon them contention alike destructive to all.

But they, when now meeting, they had reached the same place, at once joined their ox-hide shields, and their spears, and the might of brazen-mailed warriors; and the bossy shields met one another, and much battle-din arose. Then at the same time were heard both the groans and shouts of men slaying and being slain; and the earth flowed with blood. As when wintery torrents flowing down from the mountains, mix in a basin the impetuous water from their great springs in a hollow ravine, and the shepherd in the mountains hears the distant roar—so arose the shouting and panic of them, mixed together.

Antilochus first killed a Trojan warrior, Echepolus, son of Thalysias, valiant in the van. Him he first struck on the cone of his horse-plumed helmet, and the brazen point fixed itself in his forehead, then pierced the bone, and darkness vailed his eyes; and he fell, like a tower, in fierce conflict. Him fallen, king Elephenor, the oifspring of Chalcodon, chief of the magnanimous Abantes, seized by the feet, and was drawing him beyond the reach of darts in haste, that with all haste he might despoil him of his armor: but that attempt was short; for magnanimous Agenor having descried him dragging the body, wounded him with a brazen spear in the side, which, as he stooped, appeared from beneath the covert of his shield, and he relaxed his limbs [in death]. His soul therefore left him. But over him arose a fierce conflict of Trojans and of Greeks. But they like wolves rushed on each other, and man bore down man. Then Telamonian Ajax smote the blooming youth Simoïsius, son of Anthemion, whom formerly his mother, descending from Ida, brought forth on the banks of Simois, when, to wit, she followed her parents to view the flocks; wherefore they called him Simoïsius. Nor did he repay to his dear parents the price of his early nurture, for his life was short, he being slain with a spear by magnanimous Ajax. For him advancing first, he [Ajax] struck on the breast, near the right pap: and the brazen spear passed out through his shoulder on the opposite side. He fell on the ground in the dust, like a poplar, which has sprung up in the moist grass-land of an extensive marsh—branches grow smooth, yet upon the very top, which the chariot-maker lops with the shining steel, that he might bend [it as] a felloe for a beauteous chariot. Drying, it lies indeed on the banks of the river. So did the high-born Ajax spoil Simoïsius, the descendant of Anthemion. But at him Antiphus, of the varied corselet, the son of Priam, took aim through the crowd with a sharp spear. From whom, indeed, it erred: but he struck Leucus, the faithful companion of Ulysses, in the groin, as he was drawing the body aside; but he fell near it, and the body dropped from his hand. For him slain, Ulysses was much enraged in mind; and he rushed through the van, armed in shining brass; and advancing very near, he stood, and casting his eyes all around him, hurled with his glittering spear. But the Trojans retired in confusion, as the hero hurled; he did not, however, hurl the spear in vain, but struck Democoon, the spurious son of Priam, who came from Abydos, from [tending] the swift mares.[29] Him Ulysses, enraged for his companion, struck with his spear in the temple, and the brazen point penetrated through the other temple, and darkness vailed his eyes. Falling he made a crash, and his arms resounded upon him. Both the foremost bands and illustrious Hector fell back. The Argives shouted aloud, and dragged the bodies away: then they rushed further forward; and Apollo was enraged, looking down from Pergamus; and, shouting out, exhorted the Trojans:

"Arouse ye, ye horse-breaking Trojans, nor yield the battle to the Greeks; since their flesh is not of stone, nor of iron, that when they are struck, it should withstand the flesh-rending brass; neither does Achilles, the son of fair-haired Thetis, fight, but at the ships he nourishes his vexatious spleen."

Thus spoke the dreadful god from the city. But most glorious Tritonian Pallas, the daughter of Jove, going through the host, roused the Greeks wherever she saw them relaxing.

Then fate insnared Diores, son of Amarynceus; for he was struck with a jagged hand-stone, at the ankle, on the right leg; but Pirus, son of Imbrasus, who came from Ænos, the leader of the Thracian warriors, struck him. The reckless stone entirely crushed both tendons and bones; supine in the dust he fell, stretching forth both hands to his dear companions, and breathing forth his soul. But Pirus, he who struck him, ran up, and pierced him in the navel with his spear; and thereupon all his entrails poured forth upon the ground, and darkness vailed his eyes.

But him[30] Ætolian Thoas struck, rushing on with his spear, in the breast over the pap, and the brass was fastened in his lungs: Thoas came near to him, and drew the mighty spear out of his breast; then he unsheathed his sharp sword, and with it smote him in the midst of the belly, and took away his life. But he did not spoil him of his armor, for his companions stood round him, the hair-tufted Thracians, holding long spears in their hands, who drove him from them, though being mighty, and valiant, and glorious; but he, retreating, was repulsed with force. Thus these two were stretched in the dust near to each other; Pirus, indeed, the leader of the Thracians, and Diores, the leader of the brazen-mailed Epeans; and many others also were slain around.

Then no longer could any man, having come into the field, find fault with the action, who, even as yet neither wounded from distant blows,[31] nor pierced close at hand with the sharp brass, might be busied in the midst, and whom spear-brandishing Minerva might lead, taking him by the hand, and might avert from him the violence of the darts; for many of the Trojans and of the Greeks on that day were stretched prone in the dust beside one another.


  1. "On the golden floor of Jove's abode."—Cowper.
  2. Athenæus, i. 11, ἐδεξιοῦντο, προπίνοντες ἑαυτοῖς, ταῖς δεξιαῖς. Cf. xi. 4. Hesych. δείδεκτο, ἐδεξιοῦντο, διὰ ϕιλίας ἠσπάζετο κάι λόγων.
  3. I am indebted to Arnold for this version.
  4. So called from her temple at Argos. See Pausan. ii. 17; Apul. Met. vi. p. 458; Servius on Æn. i. 28.
  5. She had a temple at Alalcomenæ, in Bœotia. Cf. Pausan. ix. 33; Steph. Byz. v. ἀλαλκομένιον.
  6. On the affinity of βλώσκειν and μολεῖν, see Buttm. Lexil. p. 84.
  7. Read αὖ πῶς for αὕτως, with Aristarchus, Wolf, Spitzner.
  8. Literally, "eat raw." Cf. Xenoph. Anab. iv. 8, 14. Τούτος, ἥν πως δυνώμεθα, καί -μους ὠμοὺς δεῖ καταϕαγεῖν.—Clarke.
  9. It certainly seems to me, that, in a reference so distinct to the three great Peloponnesian cities which the Dorians invaded and possessed. Homer makes as broad an allusion to the conquests of the Heracliæ, not only as would be consistent with the pride of an Ionic Greek in attesting the triumphs of the national Dorian foe, but as the nature of a theme cast in a distant period, and remarkably removed, in its general conduct, from the historical detail of subsequent events, would warrant to the poet."—Bulwer, Athens, i. 8. The correctness of this view, however, depends upon the true date of Homer's existence.
  10. Duport, Gnom. Hom. p. 20, compares the words of Belisarius in Procop. Vandal. i. Μάχονται μὲν ἄνθρωποι, βραβεύει δὲ ὁ θεὸς ὅπως ποτὲ αὐτῷ δοκεῖ, καὶ τὸ τοῦ πολέμου δίδωσι κράτος.
  11. This is probably the true interpretation, and is given by the Scholiast, Hesychius, and others. But Heralclides, Elleg. § 6, says that Apollo is so called ἐπειδὴ τοῦ κατὰ τὴν ὄρθριον ὥραν λυκαυγοῦς ἐστιν αἰτιος, ἢ ὅτι λυκάβαντα γεννᾶ, τουτέστι τὸν ἐνιαυτόν. Cf. Macrob. Sat. i. 17; Serv. on Æn. iv. 377.
  12. It is elegantly observed by Coleridge, p. 160, that "it is principally owing to our sense of the dramatic probability of the action of the divinities in the Iliad that the heroes do not seem dwarfed by their protectors; on the contrary, the manifest favorite of the gods stands out in a dilated and more awful shape before our imagination, and seems, by the association, to be lifted up into the demigod."
  13. Occurrebat sagittæ, obvius erat ei penetranti."—Heyne. But it is better to understand, "where the plates of the cuirass meet and overlay the ζῶμα."—Arnold.
  14. i. e., Lydian.
  15. With which the iron head was fastened to the shaft.
  16. The past tense for the future: implying that the hour of retribution is so certain that it may be considered already arrived.
  17. Celsus, Pref. "Podalirius et Machaon, bello Trajano ducem Agamemnonem secuti, non mediocrem opem commilitonibus suis attulerunt. Quos tamen Homerus non in pestilentia neque in variis generibus morborum aliquid attulisse auxilii, sed vulneribus tantummodo ferro et medicamentis mederi solitos esse proposuit. Ex quo apparet, has partes medicinæ solas ab his esse tentatas, easque esse vetustissimas."
  18. If it be remembered that archery, in comparison with fighting close-handed, was much despised (cf. Soph. Aj. 1120, sqq.; Eur. Herc. Fur. 160), the term ἰόμωροι (οἱ περὶ τοὺς ἰοὺς μεμορημένοι, Apoll. Lex. and Hesych.) need not be forced into any of the out-of-the-way meanings which Anthon and others have assigned to it.
  19. See my note on Od.
  20. The waterspout, which is often followed by hurricanes, is meant. See Arnold.
  21. i. e., those who fought from chariots.
  22. With Arnold and Anthon, I follow Köppen's Interpretation. The meaning is, whoever, without leaping from his own chariot, can reach that of another, should commence the attack. This was less dangerous than dismounting.
  23. Properly, "fastened, soldered."
  24. Lit. "the bridges of the war." He was looking to see where there was a chance of escape by running between the ranks.
  25. Polynices and Adrastus, The reader will do well to compare Grote, vol. i. p. 371.
  26. To Thebes.
  27. Τέττα is an affectionate phrase applied to an elder, like papa. Compare Alberti on Hesych. v. ἀπφία, t. i. p. 505, and on άττα, p. 606; Helladius, Chrestom. p. 9, ed. Meurs.
  28. "

    On th' other side, Satan alarm'd
    Collecting all his might dilated stood,
    Like Teneriff or Atlas unremoved:
    His stature reach'd the sky." — Paradise Lost, iv. 985.

  29. Priam had a stud at Abydos, on the Asiatic coast of the Hellespont.—Scholiast.
  30. Pirus.
  31. Observe the distinction between ἄβλητος and ἀκούτατος. See Anthon; Ammonius, p. 29; Valck. Βεβλῆσθαι μέν ἐστι τὸ ἐκ βολῆς τετρῶσθαι, καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἐναντίων· οὐτᾶσθαι δὲ, τὸ ἐκ χειρὸς τετψῶσθαι.